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‘Do As I Say, Not As I Do’ Is Not An Answer When It Comes To Teen Drivers

Posted on September 26, 2012

Parents who are looking for someone to blame when it comes to their teens’ bad driving habits should take a long, hard look in the mirror, according to a recent survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions.)

The recently released survey found that 90 percent of teens have observed their parents talking on cell phones while driving and that 88 percent of them have witnessed their parents speeding. The survey, which involved 1,700 11th and 12th graders, found that teens frequently witness dangerous driving behavior by their parents and that they often mimic those bad practices.

The senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD said that parents play a vital role when it comes to passing along good driving habits. “The best teacher for a teen driver is a good parental role model,” he stated.

Other eye-opening findings from the survey revealed that 59% of teens have observed their parents’ texting while driving; 47% have seen their parents driving without a seatbelt; and 20% have witnessed their parents driving under the influence of alcohol.

Consumer Reports recommends that parents should set a good example. Stop the car in a safe place if you need to answer a cell phone call. If riding with a driver who feels compelled to text or talk on the phone, offer to do it for them while they are driving. And as always, never drive while intoxicated and always wear a seatbelt.

Good safety practices begin at home. Auto accident lawyer Eddie Farah calls on all parents to teach their teenagers to be responsible, safe drivers by example. So many injuries and deaths could be prevented on Florida’s roads and highways if adults simply practiced safe driving skills and passed those good habits on to their kids.